Do you suspect you’re losing hair? Don’t panic. Take a breath and make a plan.
Time is on your side. Hair loss is very rarely something that happens overnight. For most people, hair loss is a slow and stealthy process. Hair loss takes time. Sometimes, it takes years or decades.
Also, you’re not alone on your hair loss journey. Losing hair is hard to talk about. The hair loss experience is a touchy subject, and friends and family may hesitate to discuss the topic. Fortunately, hair care professionals are available to discuss hair restoration with you. And best of all, these experts know how to create a game plan to slow your hair loss.
Steps to Take If You Suspect Hair Loss
Being concerned about losing your hair is not vain – it’s human! Your hair plays a significant role in your appearance and self-confidence. If keeping as much hair as possible is crucial to you, then treating hair loss is an integral part of your self-care strategy. With that said, the following are essential steps to take if you think you’re experiencing hair loss.
Learn About Hair’s Growth Cycle
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), every individual can expect to lose about 50 to 100 hairs daily. Hair undergoes a definite growth cycle, with a percentage of hair undergoing different portions of the growth cycle at any given time. At the end of each cycle, the strands fall naturally, and new hair grows in. The stages of hair growth are: (01,02)
- Anagen (growth phase)
- Catagen (transition phase)
- Telogen (resting and shedding phase)
Excessive hair loss is not a regular part of this growth cycle. This type of hair loss occurs when there is a disruption in one of the three phases. For example, too many strands may fall simultaneously (in the Telogen phase) or fail to regrow after falling (in the Anagen phase).
Identify the Signs of Hair Loss
Spotting the signs of hair loss might take some investigating. To determine whether you’re experiencing excessive hair loss, keep an eye out for: (03)
- The development of bald patches.
- Hair that feels lighter.
- A more visible scalp.
- Foreheads or temples appear larger.
- More hair than usual on bedding, hairbrushes, or in the bathtub.
- Hair that doesn’t fall in your typical hairstyle.
- Intense itching or burning (may be a sign of infection.)
- Scaly patches.
Hair loss typically appears in three forms:
- Patterned: People with patterned hair loss see progressive thinning or balding at the hairline, sides, or top of the head. Patterned loss is typically seen in hereditary types of hair loss, like androgenetic alopecia.
- Diffuse: A consistent and even loss of hair throughout the scalp is called diffused hair loss. This hair loss usually occurs in cases of illness, nutrient deficiency, or during periods of severe stress.
- Focal: Focal hair loss occurs as patches on the scalp, face, or the body, and is usually linked to autoimmune disorders.
Discovering hair loss is no doubt a distressing event. But it’s better to know so you can take steps to treat it. The earlier you can identify hair loss, the higher your chances for a successful hair restoration.
What’s Causing Your Hair Loss?
A few common causes of hair loss are:
- Age: Most people experience hair loss with age to some degree. Some people may see more loss of hair than others. Treatments may help to regrow hair or slow hair loss if caught early.
- Stress: Stress can cause excessive shedding. Often, hair will regain its fullness after reducing stress, or a stressful experience has passed. In some cases, treatment is necessary to regrow hair.
- Medical Conditions: Illnesses can lead to hair loss. Alopecia areata, as an example, is an immune disorder that attacks hair follicles, resulting in loss of hair. Thyroid disorders can also impact hair growth and cause diffused hair loss. (04)
- Hair Care Treatments: Chemical relaxers, hair dyes, and perms may injure hair follicles, preventing healthy hair regrowth. Hair restorations may help to regrow hair in many cases.
- Hormonal Imbalance: Women, in particular, may lose hair due to birth control pills, pregnancy, perimenopause, or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Medical care combined with hair treatments may help to restore hair.
- Friction: Frictional alopecia may occur when headgear or clothing repeatedly rubs against the skin or scalp. Hair typically regrows by removing the source of friction, but hair growth treatment may be necessary in some instances.
- Genetic Factors: The cause of thinning or balding may have a genetic cause if hair loss runs in the family. Androgenetic alopecia, also known as male-pattern baldness or female-pattern hair loss, is thought to have a genetic component. Hair growth treatments can help to regrow hair in cases of androgenetic alopecia. (05)
- Diet: A diet high in processed foods and low in nutrients is bad for your health and may even contribute to hair loss. For example, a 2020 study found that a nutrient-deficient diet may cause a hair loss condition called telogen effluvium. Telogen effluvium may also occur during times of severe stress or illness. A multi-targeted approach, like hair treatments, dietary supplements, and a healthy diet, may help counter the effects of a poor diet. (06)
Determine Your Options
Speaking with a hair restoration professional can confirm or correct your suspicions about hair loss. Once hair loss is confirmed, a hair expert can help you determine the appropriate treatment to restore your hair.
- Medication: Hair strands grow from – and are held in place by – hair follicles. These follicles are sensitive to a hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT). DHT can injure and miniaturize these hair follicles, which causes hair to fall out faster. Furthermore, DHT impedes new hair growth. Medications targeting DHT limit damage by the hormone and may successfully regrow hair.
- Finasteride and Minoxidil are FDA-approved medications that help encourage hair growth and slow hair loss. Both Finasteride and Minoxidil are available as either a topical or oral medication.
- Dutasteride is another effective medication used to counter DHT levels. This medication suppresses the production of DHT, therefore reducing the overall amount of DHT. (07)
- Hair Care: Harsh shampoos, oily conditioners, and thermal hair tools harm the health of your hair. Using hair products that cleanse and nourish the scalp, follicles, and hair strengthens each strand and keeps more hair on your head.
- Diet and Supplements: A nutrient-dense diet full of antioxidants and protein increases the likelihood of thicker hair. Unfortunately, diet changes may not always be enough. In these cases, health supplements containing hair-boosting ingredients like keratin, saw palmetto, and vitamins A and D.
Remember that there’s no magic bullet to regrow hair. Furthermore, hair restoration treatments are not one-size-fits-all. Finding the appropriate treatments and balance of medications requires the help of an experienced hair loss professional.
Consult With a Happy Head Hair Loss Professional
If you think you’re losing your hair, contact our hair loss experts at Happy Head. Do you see more strands falling? Do you notice bald spots forming? There’s no need to worry, because Happy Head can help. We collaborate closely with you to halt your hair loss. Whether you need oral medication, a topical, or a nutrient supplement, our experienced hair loss professionals will work with you to determine the best path to meet your needs. With Happy Head’s wide array of hair products, you’re sure to find the right treatment to regrow your hair.